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How To Be The Grey Man When The SHTF And Hide In Plain Sight

How To Be The Grey Man When The SHTF

From James Bond to the SAS, the theory of becoming 'The Grey Man' has always been considered as way of disappearing into the crowd, unseen and unnoticed.
For a prepper the concept of going unnoticed is essential when the SHTF,  and this is something you must learn to do by simply blending in with the crowds.

In a disaster or SHTF situation, the idea of being the ‘grey man’  means more security and safety for you and your preps.

Nowadays people want to be different from everyone else, they feel the need to be a unique individual and stand out from the crowd.

When the SHTF, standing out from the crowd will target you, and whatever image you are giving off, you will will leave yourself wide open as a target - not a wise idea.

If your bug out plan includes moving to another area all camo'ed up, with a rucksack bulging with gear and tools, then you going to be in trouble from the start.

In an emergency situation people change and can become very desperate, very quickly.

Desperate people do desperate things, and desperate people do whatever they want to stay alive – with this in mind, you most certainly DO NOT want to be standing out as the one person that looks like they know what their doing and are kitted out for surviving..

Become The Grey Man
It Has It's Advantages

Being the grey man and simply blending in with the passing crowds is one of the biggest advantages you can have.

The very fact that you are fully prepared and equipped makes it even more necessary to protect yourself.

By making yourself just one of the crown and blending in with them, you appear to be just like them - unprepared and confused.

You no longer become a target for those desperate people who are help bent on taking any survival gear you have.

The whole theory of being the grey man
is based solely on protecting both yourself and your gear.

You must be able to conceal any fact that you are actually fully ready and prepared for survival by using the 'herd principle' of concealment.

Using people as a 'herd' will hide your true identity and not draw any unwanted attention to you.
You simply become one of the crowd, nothing stands out to make you as a target.

Your main objective is getting to your own place of safety without any confrontation.

Using the herd mentality
WILL GREATLY INCREASE YOU CHANCE OF SURVIVAL

For you, as a prepper and survivalist, the main objective is simple: to get from A to B quickly and safely.
That may be your bug out location or back to your home, either way you must not stand out for any reason whatsoever.

Remember, everyone will have an objective - most will be getting to a place of safety, but there will be those that will see fit to capitalise on everyone else's panic.

Even those that are not the 'bad guys' can act strangely in a desperate attempt to survive the situation.
Everyday, 'normal' people do not have a plan - and unusual, frantic behaviour and even violence can easily overtake a 'normal' persons way of acting.

In desperate times, people do desperate things.....

Are There Any Benefits To Being The grey Man?

Absolutely: How many people do you actually know who are ready and prepared for a disaster, let alone prepping for the long term?
Precious little I bet - most people do not even consider the fact that it could happen to them. As a result they are woefully unprepared.
This can become your problem, if you let it.....
Your survival is paramount, and as such whatever chaos is happening around you, your priority must be very focused on yourself. 
As the grey man you attract little attention to yourself and are not seen by someone as a target. 

So How Do You Become The Elusive Grey Man?

All preppers know the 'Leave No Trace' principle of Wild Camping or Stealth Camping - but being a grey man means not only leaving no trace, but leaving no impression at all.
In theory its simple, in practice its a different beast - your aim is, to successfully become the invisible man.

Key Steps To Become The Grey Man

Do Not Stand Out From The Crowd.!

What you do and how you do it are key to successfully blending in:

If you are carrying any sort of gear, acting nervous or you simply appear wrong, your unnatural movements will stick out like a sore thumb...

Key to successfully blending in are:
How you look, how you move around and very specifically, how you act.

    How You Act

    Of all the key factors, how you act is the one that will give most away - you body language can sometimes override the way you want to act.

    You must learn how to appear as if everything is normal and your just Joe Average going about your business.
    There are essential ways to act in order to look average:
    You must be perceived as non threatening.
    Do not come across as outspoken, and be very careful about what you say to people. 

    You beliefs, no matter how strong or weak, will leave you wide open to scrutiny, which in tern leads to specific opinions about you by others.
    Say too much and your becoming a marked man - possibly one who knows how to survive.
    Always keep conversations to small talk only and never express your plans as a prepper.

    Be very aware of your own body language (as well as other peoples too). The most common thing is over emphasising what you think is a natural movement!

    What type of person does this silhouette portray?
    Non threatening, Mr average, just someone wandering along without a plan...

    That is how you want to appear to others - trying to be too natural will look totally unnatural to others.
    Acting normally is a lot harder than you may think..!

    Underplay your movements when scoping your area for escape routes or possible bottlenecks. Don't make it obvious you are looking for ways out.
    This scanning type of behaviour will be picked up and could easily make people think your uneasy about something.
    When looking around, avoid direct eye contact - by doing this the people around you will not form a direct memory of you. Again, making you the average man. Eye contact, however small can trigger a memory response in the brain - something you do not want others to have.

    How You Look

    The way you dress and how you look is something that is going to mark you out as someone of interest.

    Even from a long way off, and before you even get close to someone, they will have seen you looking too different.

    Not a good idea.

    Your clothes tell a story to others, and if you are walking around all tactical with camo this and that, a paracord bracelet, shades and survival gear hanging of your rucksack, your only giving off on signal, and that signal will make you target No:1...  

    If your in the middle of the woods, that's a different situation completely.!

    Drab, neutral colours are best. Nothing bright and flashy. Try it on your way to work - you can follow a bright colour far easier than any of the neutral colours.

    Even something too shiny can be a distraction enough for someone to pay attention to you - so avoid anything reflective or any accessories or badges that stand out, and definitely do not have anything tactical or survival based on show.

    It is still possible to wear clothing that is both non threatening, dull and average, yet still give you the advantage of tactical gear.
    Clothing with lots of pockets like some dull grey cargo trousers are excellent, always wear a belt with, at least a multi-tool, tactical escape pen and a torch attached.
    You jacket can hang below your belt line and will have inside pocket, again use them to you advantage to keep everything out of sight.

    The gear you carry can easily give you away as someone who knows about survival, and as such would be worth targeting.

    Keep everything simple, avoid tactical gear and always keep it all inside your rucksack, completely out of sight by using everyday looking gear.
    A shoulder bag, discreet every day carry bag - just bog standard stuff, keep it simple.

    Deception - Change Your Look

    If you feel you have been compromised, you must carry items with you that allow you to instantly change you appearance. Such things as a hat, glasses or sun glasses, take a jacket off, or put one on, even just sling it over your shoulder - but do it when it is the less conspicuous.

    How You Move - Body Movements 

    The way you move about and conduct yourself can give a lot away.
    If you appear to be in a panic and looking around at others, this could indicate you have something to hide.

    Overemphasising your body movements and gestures will also give you away.

    If your clutching you rucksack or keep checking you pockets, these will raise alarms with everyone around you as to something is not quite right - your body language and body movements need to be natural and under your control.

    Body language itself is a whole book on it's own, and far too much to cover in this article, but it's worth a mention as it can be a major giveaway.

    How You Move - Spacial Awareness

    Don't be too 'stand-off-ish' or look as if your afraid to get close to others, this will set you apart yet again and bring unwanted attention on yourself.

    Go with the flow wherever possible. This is an important part of becoming the grey man - being part of a crowd will make you invisible as you blend in.

    Try to make constant progress and navigate through the crowd smoothly and calmly - no sudden stops or sharp turns, don't speed up suddenly, allow yourself to blend in naturally.

    When you move around be very observant - but discreet.
    Look for exits, look for other people who are behaving strangely, and be deceptive when looking around - this is not hard to do, we have great peripheral vision when observing objects, appear to be looking at something innocuous, but use your peripheral vision to scan and focus on important information.
    Use windows and focus on reflections - its an old trick but always works as it's impossible to tell that you are not actually looking inside, but using the reflected images to see whats going on..

    Sunglasses hide our eye movements, so if you can wear them, you gain another covert advantage.

    When the time is right and you need to break away from the crowd, this must be done naturally as if you do this route every day.
    Try to peal off into a smaller group if possible and from there make an exit.
    Sudden direction change and especially moving in the opposite direction will arouse suspension.

    What do you make of this photo below?
    There is a women and man facing the wrong way to everyone else, that appear to making an exit.
    What do they know that we don't? Why are they leaving?
    You see how suspicions can be alerted.  

    Photo via Intel Free Press on flickr.

    How You Move - Local Knowledge

    Don't be too 'stand-off-ish' or look as if your afraid to get close to others, this will set you apart yet again and bring unwanted attention on yourself.

    Move with the crowd until you intend to make your exit - knowing where you are and having local knowledge of the area are a great advantage to the grey man.
    If you are aware of landmarks, streets and places of safety you have a huge advantage to simply disappear from the herd. 

    This type of advantage can only be gained by having a prior knowledge of an area, and even an escape plan.
    If it is part of your overall bug out plan then it should be ingrained, with a plan B and C in case you get compromised along the way.

    Becoming invisible in the crowds can be a lot more harder to do than you think!
    You become very aware and self conscious of everything your are doing and every action you make.

    This makes  'acting normal' a very hard thing to do..!

    This skill could mean the difference between escape and having all your gear taken and I think it is well worth a bit of practice to see how natural you really could be.

    Happy Prepping Folks.

    Steve

    Steve Hart UK Preppers Guide

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    5 comments

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    1. Grammar Nazi

      Great article but needs proof reading!

    2. Tranter

      Not being noticed…Choose others in the crowd to mimic, copy their moves, change from one to another as needed. Never look around like a tourist, just stare ahead. Key hole corners, ie when walking round a blind corder step out a little before hand so you dont walk into anyone. They will remember that. Carry a light over jacket of a different colour and change it every so often, whether you think you need to or not. Same with a cap or wooly hat. For the more advanced, play an observation game, ‘Mr Blue jacket’, start noticing details of those around you, Mr Blue jacket, Mrs red scarf etc. You only need to say it to yourself once. If repeated you will notice….

    3. Brad

      Sign me up!

    4. Disabled Prepper

      Steve
      Apologies for not leaving an email address but I value my privacy.
      Having said that I DO stand out. I suffered a Stroke and one side of my body is disabled. Hence I stand out.
      What do you recommend prepping wise for people like me?
      I store extra food/water/medicines.
      Love the website. Some great articles.

    5. Harvey

      Hi Steve, on a slightly different subject – tactical torches – your write-up on the klarus (did not have a “reply/contact” option) and did not indicate if the torch will also be effective in daylight – maybe a stupid question but if you know I’d appreciate knowing also. even though it certainly looked bright in the video maybe I could buy a brighter than 800 lumen version and feel more comfortable with my wife, mum and daughter carrying one each everywhere.
      Look forward to your response.
      cheers / Harvvey

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